For some, roll searching can be a frustrating endeavor and I
occasionally hear from fellow coin roll hunters who ask why they can’t
find as many neat coins as I do when they look through rolls of coins.
While I readily admit that it can sometimes be tough to find
worthwhile coins in rolls, I want to assure you that it is very possible.
Whenever I am asked about the frequency with which I find truly
collectible coins in rolls, I always try to answer any questions by
placing the pursuit of my hobby in its proper perspective.
First, it is important to realize that I’ve searched through coins
counting in the millions.
Then equally noteworthy is the fact that in the space of a year,
with a frequency of one column per month, I can report on the
discoveries of as few as 12 fun finds even though I usually try to
feature the best of several neat discoveries in each column.
The fact is however, that in the overall scheme of things, I have
found collectible coins numbering in the tens of thousands, and you
The primary key to my success is that I look for a wide range of
collectibles as I open each roll of coins.
Besides looking for coins struck in silver alloys or other obsolete
coinage like Indian Head or Wheat Ear type cents, I examine each coin
carefully to find major errors and die varieties.
You might be surprised to learn that, although scarce, many coins
struck by doubled dies or dies with repunched Mint marks are still
circulating and with enough searching, you can find them too!
Books like The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties by
Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton, and Strike It Rich With Pocket Change by
Ken Potter and Brian Allen, can help you identify some of the
fantastic coins that can be found in rolls.
I also make it a point to ask my favorite bank tellers for the
“weird” stuff that may have been turned in by any customers, and this
month’s finds were the result of my query!
I often say that you should ask your favorite bank teller if they
happen to have any large-size dollars available.
Usually the answer is no, but this time, when I asked, the result
was that I received one roll of 20 coins.
I discovered a 1921 Morgan silver dollar in the roll of what I
expected to be all copper-nickel clad Eisenhower dollars.
Wow! It has been a long time since I’ve found an older silver dollar
in a roll, but there you go!
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